Masculine and Feminine Barolos
Pizza and Barbera D’Asti, Thai food and German Riesling, and Steak and Somerston Cabernet
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► My spoiled life continues with dining and wining on expensive wines—last week Barolos, this week, Napa Cabs. And what better pairing than a scrumptious steak with a beautiful big California Cabernet?
At the Monkey Bar I dined with Craig Becker, the talented winemaker from Somerston Wine Co. in Napa, who brought along his jewel in the crown, the Somerston Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 ($120). This cabernet was indescribably plush with mouth-filling texture and bright aromas and flavors of black fruit (plums, cassis, cherry, boysenberry) and cedar and mineral notes to its long finish.
Becker so lovingly described the beautiful Somerston property—with its 1,628-acres on two valleys with the highest elevation being 2,800-feet with sheep grazing along the slopes—that I was ready to just pack up and move there. Located eight miles east of Rutherford, Somerston is sustainably farmed with 200-acres under vine. The winery puts out three lines of wines including their flagship Somerston. Highflyer and Priest Ranch are the more affordable lines. For instance, Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, also from selected vineyard blocks and aged in 40 percent new French oak, is a real Napa find at $40.
I don’t know if it was the wine, the food, the company or the glamour of the place—Monkey Bar is right now one of New York City’s most incendiary dining venues (on my last visit the cast of Downton Abbey took over half of the dining room), but the evening was a winner. The latest entry on my to-do list: visit Somerston’s winery in Napa.